Denver is Bike City, USA.
The Mile High City has one of the largest biking trail systems in the nation, a massive network of more than 85 miles of paved, off-road trails that crisscross throughout the seven county metro area. The paved bike trails connect dozens of parks, and follow streams, rivers and canals across the high plains to the edge of the foothills, where many of the paved trails connect to dirt trails that continue up into the Rockies. Denverites love their bikes -- probably one of the reasons Colorado is often named the fittest state in the U.S. and it shows in the many cycling events that occur throughout the
In Denver, adventure is just two wheels away.
Introduced in April 2010, Denver B-cycle is the first large-scale bike-sharing program in the nation. It’s easy, cheap and fun. More than 800 shiny, red bikes are available at 81 stations around town. Swipe a credit card for a $9 daily pass and hop on board to start exploring the city. All rides under 30 minutes are free; rides of one hour are just a dollar. Pick up a bike at one station and drop it off at another – stations are conveniently located throughout the city near hotels and attractions.
Denver B-cycle gets more popular with each passing year. In 2013, the total number of trips and estimated total miles traveled using B-cycles climbed 27 percent over 2012. Annual membership went up 47 percent and the number of times individuals bought a 24-hour membership increased 29 percent. Last year, users of Denver B-cycle took 263,110 rides, up from 206,974 in 2012 – an average of 913 rides per day. B-cycle was previously available only March-November but it has now converted to year-round operation.
Learn more at www.DenverBcycle.com.
City Park: Explore Denver’s Very Own Central Park
Pick Up A Bike At: 2045 Franklin St.
Where To Go: Cycle east on E. 21st Ave. towards the enormous City Park, a perfect place for a two-wheel adventure. Ride around Ferril Lake and be treated to sweeping views of the Denver skyline. During summer nights, the Prismatic Electric Fountain in Ferril Lake wows with columns of water colored red, white and blue. Visit the Denver Zoo or the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. You might even want to make a pit stop at the Denver Bicycle Cafe, a bike shop/taphouse/coffeehouse at 1308 18th St. Heaven on earth?
Drop Off Your Bike At: 2045 Franklin St.
Denver Botanic Gardens & Cheesman Park: See What’s Blooming on a B-cycle
Pick Up A Bike At: 1051 York St. (Denver Botanic Gardens)
Where To Go: Head west on High St. towards Cheesman Park, a green space favored by locals. There, cruise around the route that circles the park for a ride with views of the Rocky Mountain Front Range. Then head back to the Denver Botanic Gardens to enjoy 23 beautifully landscaped acres.
Drop Off Your Bike At: 1051 York St. (Denver Botanic Gardens)
Washington Park: Take A Lakeside Spin
Pick Up A Bike At: 1280 S. Washington St. (Louisiana/Pearl Light Rail Station)
Where To Go: Ride east on E. Louisiana Ave. to Washington Park (Wash Park to locals), where you can coast around two lakes and kick back amidst flower gardens, big green lawns and fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Take Exposition Ave. east out of the park to Old South Gaylord St., a small but vibrant neighborhood with shops, art galleries, cafés, restaurants and taverns.
Drop Off Your Bike At: 1280 S. Washington St. (Louisiana/Pearl Light Rail Station)
THE GREENWAY TRAILS ALONG THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER
This paved bike trail follows the South Platte River for almost 30 miles, connecting a necklace of riverside parks. Since much of Denver’s early history occurred along this river, the Colorado Historical Society has erected more than 20 large historic signs that use photos and illustrations to tell the story of the area. There are markers alongside the trail describing the Native Americans who once lived here, as well plaques dealing with wildlife and birds. Look for historic plaques for dinosaurs and the geologic history of the area, as well as ones dealing with the railroads, trolleys, explorers, mountain men, soldiers and farmers that at one time or another traveled beside the South Platte River.
Riverside Cemetery: Many of Denver’s famous pioneers are buried in this historic cemetery, which is the oldest operating cemetery and a national historic district.
Confluence Park: Denver was founded at this site; today there kayaks can be seen in the man-made rapids of the park. Nearby is My Brother’s Bar, the only bar still operating that was once frequented by Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and others from the Beat Generation. Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park, the Downtown Aquarium, the Children’s Museum of Denver and Sports Authority Field at Mile High (home of the Denver Broncos) are all located along the bike path.
REI Flagship Store: An outdoor lover’s paradise. 100,000 square feet of recreational equipment, including a 45-foot high rock climbing wall and everything you need for biking, kayaking and mountain climbing.
Hudson Gardens: These beautiful private gardens are located along the bike path and feature an exciting outdoor garden railway and gorgeous garden walks. The Gardens operates a riverside café for bikers and hikers with coffees, drinks and deserts.
Chatfield State Recreation Area: The bike trail ends at this sprawling park, which offers horseback riding, sailing, swimming and a gigantic balloon festival in August. From here, you can bike south through the park to Waterton Canyon and the beginning of the Colorado Trail. The unpaved Colorado Trail runs for 400 miles to Durango, Colorado, however parts of it are closed to biking. The first six miles of Waterton Canyon offers a fairly easy, graded surface for biking along the South Platte River through rock outcroppings and gorgeous scenery, where big horn sheep can frequently be spotted.
Post-Ride Refreshments: Denver Beer Co., located just steps from Confluence Park, is a favorite spot for cyclists after a ride on the Greenway Trail. Ask if the brewery’s Incredible Pedal IPA is on tap. The beer is made using a new bicycle-powered mill—designed by Denver’s Salvagetti Bike Shop—that grinds malted barley while cyclists pedal.
CHERRY CREEK BIKE PATH
This paved trail begins where Denver was first founded and runs along the creek for more than 40 miles to Franktown. It was selected in 2013 by USA Today as one of the Top 5 bike trails in America. It is one of the most popular bike/hike/jogging trails in Denver and one of the prettiest. Parts of it comprise the Front Range Trail, an off-road bike path that will eventually stretch the entire north-south length of Colorado, from the Wyoming border to New Mexico.
Cherry Creek Shopping District: There are nearly 500 department stores, shops, boutiques, galleries and outdoor cafes in the area, divided between the upscale Cherry Creek Shopping Center and the treelined streets of the quiet neighborhood Cherry Creek North. The bike path goes directly behind the shopping center.
Four Mile House & Historic Park: This old stagecoach stop (four miles from downtown Denver) is the oldest structure in the metro area. The 12-acre park is an oasis along the bike path and offers a museum and historic buildings that tells the story of Denver’s early pioneers.
Cherry Creek State Recreation Area: One of metro Denver’s largest lakes has boating, camping, swimming and horseback riding. The bike path continues south through the park to Franktown.
Castlewood Canyon State Park: From the southern end of the Cherry Creek bike path, it’s just a few miles on a quiet dirt road to this beautiful state park, which features walks through the canyon and historic exhibits on the dam that was once located here.
Post-Ride Refreshments: Hit the Bull & Bush, a classic English-style pub, located not too far from the bike path at 4700 Cherry Creek Dr. S. Great beer, classic pub fare and friendly service.
CLEAR CREEK BIKE PATH
This 20-mile long paved bike path follows fast rushing Clear Creek from the South Platte River to the town of Golden. The path goes through residential neighborhoods and countryside, but is always near the creek. As it nears Golden, it offers outstanding views of the high buttes that surround the town.
Golden: The delightful, Western town of Golden was Colorado’s first capital city. Today, it offers a mix of outdoor cafes, Western stores and museums with a quaint main street that in places still has covered walkways, false-front buildings and plankboard sidewalks. An award-winning kayak course runs through the center of the town and there are outdoor cafes where you can enjoy a drink while kayaks float by. Right on the bike path, discover the Clear Creek History Park, a living history attraction, while Coors Brewery, the largest single brewing site in the world, is nearby.
Colorado Railroad Museum: A mile from Golden and just off the bike path, this is the largest railroad museum in the state with more than 50 locomotives and cars, all capturing the romantic era of narrow gauge railroading in the Rocky Mountains.
North Table Mountain, South Table Mountain, Green Mountain: These three buttes and hills all have dirt mountain biking trails, both along the sides of the buttes and up on top, where they offer spectacular sweeping views of the metro area. The hills can be steep and rocky and are for intermediate mountain bike riders only.
Post-Ride Refreshments: Golden City Brewery is only “second largest brewery in Golden,” but that’s because the biggest brewery in the world – Coors – calls the town home as well. Stop in here to enjoy a post-ride beer on their sunny patio.
BEAR CREEK BIKE TRAIL
This 20-mile trail follows Bear Creek from the South Platte River to the tiny mountain town of Morrison – gateway to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Park. From here, there are paved bike trail links along C-470 that connect to Chatfield State Recreation in the south or Golden in the north, making it possible to make 40-60 mile loops from downtown Denver.
Morrison: The cute little town has cafes, coffee shops, ice cream stores, galleries and fine restaurants, all at the base of unusual geologic rock outcroppings. Bear Creek flows through the edge of the town.
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre: Bear Creek Bike Path connects to Red Rocks, offering an opportunity to bike around 70 million year old red rock outcropping, some rising 300 feet high. Bikers share the road with cars in the park and it is a steep incline from Morrison to the amphitheatre, but the views are incredible.
Post-Ride Refreshments: After you’ve seen Red Rocks, stop in at Red Rocks Grill (415 Bear Creek Ave.), an American grill with a Southwestern flair, offering a great selection of microbrews.
Aug. 18 – Aug. 24, 2014
Hold on to your handlebars! The annual USA Pro Challenge, “America’s Race,” will once again finish near the Colorado State Capitol Building in Downtown Denver on August 24, 2014. For seven consecutive days, 135 of the world’s top cyclists will speed across the majestic Rockies, on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery. Last year, more than one million spectators viewed the race from the road, making the USA Pro Challenge one of the largest cycling events in U.S. history.
The irreverent Denver Cruiser Ride is a free, weekly pub crawl that meets every Wednesday to cycle safely through the streets of Denver. A mid-week Mile High City tradition since 2005, each ride boasts a different theme – often involving zany costumes.
The Denver Post Ride The Rockies is an annual bicycle tour that takes 2,000 cyclists on a weeklong trek through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The tour will feature 3 scenic mountain passes, a trek over the highest suspension bridge in the U.S. and 20,400 vertical ft. over 7 days and more than 500 miles.
Father's Day in Denver is the ideal time to spend a fun and healthy day outdoors with family, friends and fellow riders. The Denver Century Ride is perfect for novice, intermediate and avid cyclists. $10 of every registration for the long distance 100 Mile, 85 Mile and 62 Mile courses will be donated to BikeDenver so they can continue their efforts to improve cycling access throughout the Metro area.
Join BikeDenver and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) for a Summer Park-to-Park bicycle ride from City Park, through the Denver Botanic Gardens, to the Dos Chappell Bathhouse at Washington Park to celebrate green volunteering and the summer solstice.
June-August, Civic Center Park
Produced by the Civic Center Conservancy, Denver Parks and Recreation, and the Outdoor Cinema Network, the FREE Civic Center Bike-In Movies Series invites cycling enthusiasts (and those using all other modes of transportation) to spend select Thursday and Friday evenings in Civic Center. Bike racks will be available.
Sept. 6, 2014
A freewheeling day full of beer, bikes, live music, and sustainability in Denver’s City Park! New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Tour de Fat kicks off with a head-turning costumed bike parade and, encouraging responsible consumption, concludes with one person handing over the keys to his or her car in exchange for a bicycle. Tour de Fat is free, but beer and merchandise proceeds go to local Denver cycling non-profits.
Download a pdf of the City of Denver’s bike trails map or pick up a hard copy at the city’s recreation centers or VISIT DENVER’s visitor information centers.
www.BikeDenver.org is Denver’s bicycle advocacy organization and the leading non-profit to promote and encourage bicycling as an energy efficient, non-polluting, healthy and enjoyable transportation alternative in and around Denver. The Bike Denver website is filled with safety tips, bicycle maps, info on bike-friendly businesses, and recommended rides.
Bikalope Tours’ guided bicycle tours are leisurely paced and appropriate for all skill levels. You’ll pedal along riverside paths, city bike lanes, and neighborhood streets to visit Denver's top attractions and hear stories about what makes Denver great.
Confluence Kayaks, located near Confluence Park, offers bike rentals for rides along the nearby greenway trail.
303Cycling is a great source for cycling news in the state of Colorado, with a consolidated cycling calendar covering all cycling events from racing, tours, events and more.